Thursday, July 09, 2009

Independence Day in Nowhere, USA

Now that the 4th has passed, I know Summer is just biding its time. All the days pass with unsettling rapidity, but none so fast to me as these between the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Before I turn around, September will be here. And let's face it, no matter what the calendar says, September was never really Summer.

The big news around these parts this week has been all about Nephew Bone. Last Friday, with little warning but much fanfare, he began walking upright. At the age of 10 months and 13 days, Nephew Bone took his first steps. Now he bounds around for five, eight, ten steps at a time with a perpetual smile on his face like he just discovered bubble wrap. The sheer and utter joy he gets out of life is a continual lesson for me.

My 4th of July was pretty low-key. I mean, I didn't climb any national monuments to hang a protest banner if that's what you're after. I've actually never even painted anything on a water tower. It's one of the great shames of my life.

I spent the entire day in a tiny town where I had no cell phone service. None. Not even on a hill. It was the cell phone equivalent of absolute zero.

At first, I was a little perturbed that I wasn't going to be able to check and see how my fantasy baseball team was faring. But in the end it wound up being kinda nice. To be completely unconnected and unreachable for an entire day. What a novel concept. I could foresee this becoming a regular thing... again.

We spent the better part of Saturday's daylight hours canoeing. Nine miles. Five hours. Surprised? Well, you don't get arms like these by lifting the remote.

It was actually my first time canoeing. I think I did OK. I mean there were a couple of times when we were facing the wrong way. I seem to recall some other canoers riding by and laughing. Then at one point, we had to limbo under a tree that had fallen across the river and for a brief instant there I wondered if the Bone name would indeed live on. But overall, it was fun and I didn't injure anyone, at least not to the point that it required medical attention, so I deem it a qualified success.

Saturday night, I enjoyed a couple of corn dogs at the local park while taking in a softball game between the hometown American Legion team and what I took to be a team of alumni--a slightly-to-moderately overweight bunch calling themselves The Legends. After the game, there were fireworks. Literally, not figuratively.

It was good to spend the 4th of July in Small Town, USA. Good to see flags flying in yards and a few houses even decorated with red, white, and blue banners. I grew up in a town not a whole lot bigger than that. And I spent many of those days wondering what I was missing in some big city in some faraway place. Saturday night, I didn't feel like I was missing a thing.

"You could lie on a riverbank. Or paint your name on a water tank. Miscount all the beers you drank, back where I come from..."


  1. Canoeing, corndogs, softball,kissing babies... none of that out here in the big city! lmao (ok truth be told I am not really IN the city... but my village does get cellphone service! =])

    Sounds like you had a just about perfect weekend! If that person in the canoe with you was a love interest... I might say it was perfect! There is something about summer romances that were always special.

    56 days until Labor Day weekend...

  2. Last night I was thinking along these lines.. days are gonna be shorter now.. we're on the backside -albeit the thick of it - summer.

    Fall is coming.

  3. 4th of July is small town America is great. They really know how to celebrate! Sometimes I miss 4th of July in Arkansas. We used to go down there every year, because it was my grandma's bday. Now, we spend it in OKC...which is fun, but not as fun. It's like there's something missing and all these big city folks have no idea they are missing something great.

    I'm glad you had a good weekend, and thanks for posting my friend.

  4. Classic Bone--love the last line especially--think you're right :)
    I think they make the paint on water towers graffiti proof and uh have ever since my high school class
    Congrats on canoeing

    "limbo under a tree" is muy descriptive. Love it

  5. Helene would know the exact amount of days until Labor Day

    I'm going for summer until the weather turns--and yeah shorter days--I get crazed on 6/22 because it's already shorter

  6. Our small town tries but they just haven't figured it out yet. :p The fireworks show was nice though.

    I miss the 4th in small town Texas though...nothing beats the fireworks show with pops concert they put on each year...and it would always be on the 3rd so you could see another show on the 4th!

    Congrats on the little guy taking off! Make sure you have everything baby proofed! DD got her first shiner learning this walking thing.

  7. Your post reminded me a lot of my own hometown, minus the canoeing. I'm with you 100% about Smalltown, USA. There's nothing like it when it comes to holidays. Those kind of towns have to be the inspiration for Hallmark cards everywhere.

    I agree with you that getting away from time to time is a great thing. Sometimes, I purposely turn the ringer off on my cell phone so I can have some peace. Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do.

  8. no matter what the calendar says, September was never really Summer.

    What a great line. And very accurate, too.

    It's tough to find places with no cell service these days. I was appalled by all the places I had service in Alaska a couple summers ago. I kinda miss the days when there was no service sometimes. It's good to just have that face-to-face time sometimes.

    Sounds like a wonderful 4th. AND like Nephew Bone is celebrating his independence by gaining more independence ;)

  9. Helene - Surely you could find a corn dog somewhere. Anything fried will work :) Yeah, it was a pretty perfect weekend.

    Shelby - Yep, we're on the backside. I like to think of summer in terms of weekends, and if you do that, there are only eight weekends left.

    OK Chick - I agree. I spent the 4th in New York City a few years ago. It was pretty cool. But there's just something about a small town celebration.

    Well, it's actually kinda nice to know that if I don't post for a week or so, OKC will be by to ask where I'm at :)

    Pia - Thank you, assuming "Classic Bone" is a good thing :) Yeah, it seems like the days should keep getting longer until July 4th at least.

    Renee - Um, exactly how "small" is this town of yours?

    Oh he's already had plenty of knots, scrapes and bruises, just from when he was learning to pull himself up.

    Marina - I went thru a phase a couple of years ago where I would frequently turn my phone off or just not answer it. Then everyone grieved about it at Festivus that year, so I started trying to answer a bit more.

    TC - Thanks. I hadn't thought about it from that point of view, but you're right. It is rather difficult to find a place with no service these days. Maybe I should seek out those locations a bit more often.

    Oh yeah, Nephew Bone is all over the place now. And every day is pretty much a holiday for him :)

  10. The sheer and utter joy he gets out of life is a continual lesson for me. - This is a lesson I am constantly learning from the toddlers in my life. My niece is so happy just getting in the bath that it forces me to remember all the little pleasures in life. Thank heavens for other people's children!

  11. Bone I love this line " Now he bounds around for five, eight, ten steps at a time with a perpetual smile on his face like he just discovered bubble wrap. The sheer and utter joy he gets out of life is a continual lesson for me."

    I think everyone loves bubble wrap once they discover it.

    I love the 4th of July fireworks but I love the city for the 4th. So many fireworks shows to see.

    At this point I am waiting for you to write a book. I'll stand in line for a signed copy.

  12. I would love to go canoeing again sometime. I loved my first experience. I canoed with a friend down the Big Sandy River from Prestonsburg, KY to Paintsville, KY. Driving that would take roughly 10 minutes by canoe significantly longer but still I think we made good time. I'll blog about this sometime as it's been on my mind a lot lately.

    Nephew Bone is making headlines now. I'm pleased to hear he's taking his first tentative steps. Soon he'll be getting into everything.

    Glad you had a nice 4th. Hope all else is well. Have a great night.

  13. What a wonderful brought back warm memories of my grandma. She lived in a town just like this, and it's just how I felt whenever we visited.

  14. Congratulations to little nephew bone on his steps, the description was exquisite.

    There is something to be said for going without technology for a day or two. There always seems to be more to write about after such a session. At the very least the charred brain cache has been cleared.

    Small tows and small town weekends, the things that books are made off.

  15. I've never done 4th of July in a small town (at least, that I remember). I think the best fireworks I've ever seen were when I lived in Panama because they did the fireworks from a mountain so everyone on most of the bases could just hang out at their own houses and watch the sky light up.

  16. So to get arms like yours, I have to canoe?!? I'll have to think about that.

    Am I the only one that chuckled about the limbo under the tree and the continuation of the Bone name?! I guess your female readers are more ladylike than I. :-)

  17. At this point I am waiting for you to write a book. I'll stand in line for a signed copy.

    She isn't the only one.

    Murf: Oh no, I laughed. I just had too many things to comment on and forgot about that in my old age.

  18. Sounds exactly like where I come from!

    And, you're right; September is not Summer!

  19. I enjoyed reading that post. I grew up in a small town in Missouri.

  20. :) bone, you are as dear as they come! i saw someone on the beach wearing one of your hats...and I thought..."could that be him, the one and only Bone???" and "No" I thought, as he walked past me..."It can't be Bone- he would have recognized me!"
    But that is what makes you so are a brother in arms...or just a brother.

  21. J. Adamthwaite - Thank heavens for other people's children!

    Haha. I definitely second that. They are amazing.

    PennyCandy - Yes, I think you're right. And for some of us, bubble wrap never loses its allure :)

    Thank you. That truly means a lot to me.

    Michelle Johnson - It's a good workout, but at the same time so peaceful. I would definitely like to go again sometime.

    Fledgling Poet - Thanks :) Glad it brought back warm memories for you.

    Cooper - I'll pass along your congratulations.

    Charred brain--that's a good way to put it. Very accurately describes how I feel some days.

    Xinh - Fireworks on a mountain sounds awesome! (Or is it sound awesome?)

    Murf - Well, kayaking would also probably work :)

    I'm glad you chuckled. It was meant to be funny, in hindsight. Not as funny when it was happening.

    TC - Um, did you just admit you're less ladylike than Murf?

    Mama Zen - I know, right? They should readjust the seasons. Fall should begin on September 1st.

    MarkD - Thank you. No matter where the small town is located, I think they all have certain things in common.

    Mayden - One of my hats? lol You should've said something to me! No, I've only been to the beach once so far this year. So unless you saw him between April 30th and May 3rd, it wasn't me.